Let’s talk about hot hatches. Mercedes introduced the new A35 AMG and I think it’s one of the best in its class. Hot hatches are very popular in Europe and have a long history. They are just the perfect spot between fun and practicality. We, as car enthusiasts, love hot hatches, but time has changed since the first GTI, so they are very different now. The new A35 AMG is the best example of how things changed. In the old days, things were simple: a hot hatch is a really small lightweight car with a tiny engine producing a big horsepower figure. Now, now only they became bigger, but they also became more intelligent, safe, and practical. Hot hatches are very good if you can afford only one car.
Now, how about the new A35? A new subtle design with luxurious interior and 300bhp, sounds good. First of all, it’s a Mercedes-Benz, it needs to be luxurious and it certainly does that. This new little car from Mercedes it’s by far the most luxurious hot hatch. Big improvements have been done to the interior moving to the digital displays like every other Mercedes.
This is an AMG, so the performance is there. A run from 0 to 60 can happen in just 4.7 seconds. It has a 2.0l 4-cylinder engine, which sounds really good and packs 306bhp. Power is not the only thing pushing this car so fast. It comes standard with 4matic, can split the traction from only fwd to a 50-50 distribution, which helps a lot from a standing start. Cars with AWD and launch control are stupidly fast from a standing point. With good tires and an empty road, you can have a lot of fun with some launches. They fitted a 7 speed AMG speedshift dual-clutch gearbox, a vital component for the brutal acceleration. This transmission helps a lot with delivering the power as fast as possible, keeping the car in the optimum RPM.
Technology and Luxury
This is where Mercedes shines. The new A35 AMG is by far the best in terms of luxury and technology. It may not be the faster (but wait for the a45 version – that is going to be the full meal), but it certainly packs the most luxurious cabin. Just look at it.
It’s amazing how luxurious these little cars have become and how much technology is in there. Imagine that you can get the same steering wheel as in an S klasse. As of technology, you can get just about anything you will find on an S klasse, but on the entry level Mercedes. I think that is a good idea, because not anyone can go and buy the full limousine, but we want high end features. Just think of those big high-end screens with beautiful graphics. The new A35 packs all the safety options you need and they introduced a very smart navigation based on cameras that will show you the road. This is an augmented reality navigation, that will show you what’s ahead in real time and show arrows pointing where you need to go. Remember this is something you can’t have on a S klasse.
So, you got a sporty, luxurious, techy, small car. What is not to like about it? I think this is the sweet spot of performance, because they are getting a little “too fast”. I know nothing is too fast, but I think hot hatches should focus on driving experience and you can certainly have fun with small power. 300bhp is still a lot, but I think it fits the car very all. I love this car because it packs everything you want. You can argue that trying to do everything it may end up doing nothing, but I really think this car can do everything. It’s a nice car which will bring you joy every single time you go driving.